Complications of Knee Replacement Surgery Explained

Complications of knee replacement surgery. Image by User:DaveRave used with permission

Knee replacement is major surgery. (Image by User:DaveRave used with permission)

If you are considering the surgical route for your osteoarthritis you should always weight up the pros and cons carefully. Although surgery is often successful for people with severe degeneration it is very important you discuss all the possible complications of knee replacement surgery before you go ahead.

The first knee replacement was done by Leslie Shiers in 1954. Many surgeons over the years have improved on the original design but one of the ongoing complications of knee replacement surgery is still with loosening of the implant within the bone, parts breaking and the implant simply wearing out.

But problems with the actual implant is not the whole story when it come to complications of knee replacement surgery

What are the Complications of Knee Replacement Surgery

WebMd list the following complications of knee replacement surgery:

Knee joint replacements have been performed for years and surgical techniques are being improved all the time. As with all surgeries, however, there are risks. Since you will not be able to move around much at first, blood clots are a particular concern. Your doctor will give you blood thinners to help prevent this.

Infection and bleeding also are possible, as are the risks associated with using general anesthesia. Other less common concerns that you and your doctor must watch out for include the following:

  • Pieces of fat in the bone marrow may become loose, enter the bloodstream and get into the lungs, which can cause very serious breathing problems.
  • Nerves in the knee area may be injured from swelling or pressure and can cause some numbness.
  • Other bones may be broken during the surgery, which may require a longer hospital stay.
  • The replacement parts may become loose or break.

It is this last one of these complications of knee replacement surgery that worries me most and obviously I am not the only one. The Derry Journal has written an well balance article on whether more research is needed on new types of knee replacement implants as failure of them must be considered one of the major complications of knee replacement surgery.

You can read the full article here:

I agree more research is a must and failure rates should be monitored preferably by an independent body. I hear too often from people who are suffering the complications of knee replacement surgery – sometimes 3 or 4 surgeries later- asking is there anything they can do now?

We are being used as guinea pigs and too often we are not being properly warned of the complications of knee replacement surgery from the actual implants. The surgeon tells us about the risk of infection, blood clots etc but don’t tell us the actual statistical failure rate of the type of implant used. Maybe because they don’t know??

Click on the link if you want to see a video of what actually happens in this procedure. It does help you understand why there are so many complications of knee replacement surgery!

Have you suffered any complications of knee replacement surgery or was it simply the best thing you ever did? Leave your comments below so you can help others make an informed decision.

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